At the end of the day, the most important statistic for an offense is how many points they score. How has Bill O'Brien done over the years in the NFL with his scoring offenses? Last year, the 2022 New England Patriots' offense scored 21.4 points per game, which ranked 17th in the NFL.
In all honesty, they didn't have a terrible scoring offense, but them being one of the most inefficient redzone offenses in the NFL contributed to the offense largely being incompetent.
Now in 2023, an established offensive mind in Bill O'Brien is running the show. The former Patriots' OC returns to New England after a few spots at the college football and NFL level. He was able to carve out a decent resume as head coach of the Houston Texans.
I think people unfairly think O'Brien was a bad head coach-- he wasn't, it was his tenure as the GM that threw people off. He was a fine head coach, and should get a shot again one day to be a head coach, perhaps with the Patriots.
What I want to do is lightly examine the scoring offenses under Bill O'Brien from his time as an OC and HC in the NFL, which spanned from 2011, and 2014-2020. So, let's look at these numbers!
As previously stated, at the end of the day, the most important statistic for an offense in my opinion is not the DVOA stuff or all of those fancy line graphs that circulate Twitter, but it's their points per game. How frequently is the offense scoring points?
The following rankings are the points per game scored under Bill O'Brien-led offenses during his tenure in the NFL, in order:
3rd, 14th, 21st, 28th, 17th, 11th, 14th, 18th.
So, there is some variation here. For consistencies sake, let's take out the 2011 season, as that was a very good year for the Patriots' offense and was also likely a bit skewed since the greatest QB of all-time was taking snaps for the team.
The average ranking among points per game from 2014-2020 comes out to 17.57, or the 18th ranked scoring offense during his tenure as the Texans' head coach. Perhaps we thought that his scoring offenses would have ranked higher over this time, but that is notable is that his scoring offenses seemed to get a hair better as his tenure went on, and he was able to reset his value a bit when he went to Alabama as their offensive coordinator.
Some of those offenses in Houston also came with some marginal play at quarterback, but you can see a different when Deshaun Watson came along and took over the starting job. I do think the Pats' offense will rank higher than 17th in points score in 2023. And even if they do not, what I also think is that the offense as an entire unit will be much more efficient.
They'll turn the ball over less and won't be uber-inefficient in the redzone like they were last year, which may end up having a huge impact on the performance of the team and could end up yielding another win or two.